My business lack differentiation

7 replies
Hi, I run a painting business and currently have no differentiation. What we do right now in an attempt to stand out is:

- Free estimates (who doesn't these days?)
- 3 year warranty on all jobs--any issues, we come fix it for free
- Very thorough and detailed estimates given (customers do appreciate this)

It's not strong enough to stand out, I know that much, but I'm at a loss for how else to stand out. Any ideas?
#business #differentiation #lack
  • Profile picture of the author staceythewriter
    Try to think of something that is really important to your customers, but which your competitors are not saying in their marketing messaging and promo collateral.

    For example: My daycare center client provides basically the same services/features as every other daycare in the community (and there are many daycares around). However, as a daycare, I told them to market specifically to working parents (every daycare's primary target). I removed their business name from the top of their marketing material and put the headline "Are Your Children Safe Secure and Happy While You're At Work?" and used a red and white brochure (with kids' building blocks) instead of the flyer they were using. I also told them to mention their open-door policy for parents to drop on by whenever they want (other daycares have this too). The beauty is, none of the other daycare centers are zeroing in on this in their marketing material, so guess which daycare has a swelling enrollment and now outperforms its competition? That's right, my client. You have to dig deep to unearth your benefits, then get creative. There are many other techniques, but that's a little something to get you on the right track.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheNewGuy2010
    What you offer is a personal service. That's where you're different, in the personal service that you provide to your customers. Yes, you're in a commodity business but you can be different and you are different based on the service you provide to your costing.
    Retired Internet Marketer.
    Gone Fishing....
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnnyBattles
    We repainted our interior rooms a couple years ago and having kids, our walls are all marked up on the bottom and need touched up. Fresh paint marks up quickly.

    So instead of your 3 year warranty what about offering a 6 or 12 month check up? So instead of the customer calling you, provide a service that no one else offers by giving exceptional customer service.

    Now you can think about this as a warm lead for additional services or referrals.

    Make your customers feel good and the growth will come.

    So now you are thinking it will cost too much to do the follow ups.. Well then build it into your pricing or make it optional for customers and let them decide.

    Point is.. It's not about offering something new but repurposing what you are already doing and sell the benefits.
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  • Profile picture of the author Digital Traffic
    We would need some more information about your business and how you operate to give you some ideas about standing out from the crowd.

    What type of vehicle do you show up at jobs with and your estimates?

    Do your employees wear uniforms?

    Do you clean up at the end of every day or wait until the job is finished?

    Do you work only 9 to 5 Monday - Friday or are you willing to work around your customers schedules?

    Do you paint both interior and exterior?

    Are you licensed & insured?

    Employees bonded?

    Do you move & replace the furniture?

    Do you offer senior or military discounts?

    How long have you been in business?

    There's more, but this will help get the ball rolling.
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  • Profile picture of the author bizgrower
    Do you just scrape old paint, or do you use a sander as needed?

    Do you use primer when needed?

    Do you use quality paint?

    How long should your work last?

    Do you replace wood and make repairs as needed?

    Do you remove and replace caulking as needed?

    Do your crew members have a good appearance?

    Do crew members smoke anything on the job?

    Do you show up when you say you will?

    Do you finish in a timely manner?

    Do you stick to the quoted price?

    Your 3 year warranty sounds good. Make some satisfaction guaranty
    that is different from your competitors, and superior.

    "If you think you're the smartest person in the room, then you're probably in the wrong room."

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    • Profile picture of the author Delta223
      Great questions. Details are below but the critical point is that I don't have employees; I estimate the jobs and subcontract them.

      - Vehicles are unbranded. My sub drives a 90's era Mustang
      - No uniforms
      - We clean up major eyesores at the end of each day; Final cleanup does everything else
      - Willing to work to accomodate their schedules
      - We paint interior/exterior, are licensed/insured/bonded
      - Everything is moved as needed
      - Senior/military discounts: haven't but am thinking about it
      - In business 3 years (on and off in year 1)
      - Old paint is scraped, yes. Primer is used, paint is high quality
      - We make small adjustments to wood trim and replace caulking as needed.
      - My foremen have a good appearance; some of their "temporary hands" can look a bit low class
      - No smoking during the jobs. Yes we are very punctual, on time, and finish early
      - Yes we never requote prices

      Hope that clarifies my business; I would be glad to answer any other questions.


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  • Profile picture of the author Digital Traffic
    Here's my 2 cents worth.

    Experienced interior/exterior painting company seeks new business.

    We are licensed, insured and all employees are bonded.

    Willing to work around your schedule. We show up on time, finish our jobs on schedule, and we clean as we go.

    We'll move your furniture, repair minor trim work, scrape, prime and recaulk where neecessary.

    We're a professional, non-smoking company that uses nothing but the finest quality paint and painting supplies.

    Our free written estimates are guaranteed with no hidden charges and we have plenty of references available at your request.
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